You may think we have banged on a lot about our cottage garden this year and you're probably right but let us show you why. This is our cottage garden in 2010. It's lovely, isn't it? Look at that thatchy grass, those laurels cut back a few months earlier by our neighbours who were so pissed off with how large they had grown they had hacked through the jungle of our garden, cutting them right back before stripping naked and dancing, laughing hysterically, around a giant bonfire of laurel and brambles. They did that. Well, maybe not the stripping down to the buff and dancing but they had a large bonfire and by the time we moved in the laurels had already grown back to that size. They watched with baited breath what we would do. Before you read on, at no point in this post do we strip naked. Sorry. We know you were looking forward to naked Cottage Gardening.
Now, six years later and the laurels are distance memory except for the occasional root still being dug out and sworn at. The soil has improved a thousand fold and those laurels have been replaced by hornbeam. That's a mere five years of growth of the new hedge in the photo below and around four years for the cottage garden.
Taking photos can help you remember what works when it comes to planting later in the year. It will also help you decide which plants to move or plants to be divided when they are dormant. It's good to keep a record.
It can also provide you with pleasant surprises of self-seeded plants.
Or, it can simply remind you that gardens change and what was once thatchy grass with poisonous laurels ruining the soil has become something completely different.